What does Barry Bagley call Ishmael

Characters / Don't Call Me Ishmael!

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Main characters

The protagonist of the series, he starts out as an awkward and shy victim of bullying without friends until he meets James Scobie, who persuades him to join the debate team.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: He thinks he's unpopular, but by the third book, Cindy and Raychell are after him, he's kissed Sally and he gets together with Kelly.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: The books are hugely and unapologetically built around this trope. Ishmael is in love with Kelly for nearly all of the series, even when she dates someone else, moves away, comes back but is not ready for a relationship
  • Embarrassing First Name: In the first book, Ishmael blames his social awkwardness and various misfortunes on his first name, diagnosing himself with ‘Ishmaelleseur’s Syndrome’.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Bullies transform the name Ishmael Reading into Stalepiss Manure.
  • Fainting: During his first debate, due to nervousness.
  • Friendless Background: He doesn't have any friends at St Daniel's until he meets Scobie and joins the debate team.
  • Grew a Spine: It takes time, but by the end of the third book he's come a long way.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: With Razz, as evidenced by their Platonic Declaration of Love towards the end of the series. They're like hoops of carbon nanotubes.
  • Nice Guy: He's generally friendly to everyone and doesn't like conflict. Razz even thinks it's his Fatal Flaw.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Fainting and accidentally groping Kelly during his first debate.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: He's the kind, sensitive guy to Razza's athletic, loud, manly man.
Razza joins the debate team mostly to get to know girls at debates. He later becomes Ishmael’s best friend. He's convinced of his own awesomeness, but he matures a lot throughout the books.
  • Book Dumb: He isn't stupid, but his grades are generally bad.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: He fancies himself a casanova, but he is devoted to Sally and perfectly willing to wait until she wants to have sex.
  • Class Clown: He’s very loud, and prefers having fun to paying attention in class. He also likes to make fun of his teachers sometimes, such as when Mr Barker uses him as an example of how not to wear the school uniform and Razza pretends to be on a catwalk.
  • The Ditz: He isn't particularly intelligent, but very social and fun-loving.

    Sometimes, Razza wasn't quite on the same page as other people - often, he wasn't even in the same library.

  • Friend to All Children: He gets along great with Sally’s little siblings and helps to coach the younger students' football teams.
  • Genius Ditz: Even though he is The Ditz when it comes to schoolwork, he is a genius at anything related to sports and a very competent trainer as well.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Has this relationship with Ishmael by the end of the books, as detailed above.
  • Insecure Love Interest: While he is usually self-confident, he is this to Sally, believing that she is' too everything'for him.
  • The Matchmaker: He often tries to help Ishmael get a girlfriend, usually Kelly.
  • Motor Mouth: He talks quickly, loudly and constantly.
  • The Nicknamer: He likes to call his friends nicknames: Scobes, Prudles, Prindabuddy, Bill-bo
  • Opposites Attract: With Sally. They have some common interests (like football), but she is down-to-earth, very studious and calm. Razza ... is not.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: He's the athletic, loud, manly man to Ishmael's kind, more sensitive guy.
  • Shipper on Deck: He ships Ishmael / Kelly, Scobie / Prue and Miss Tarango / Mr Guthrie. For a while he also ships Ishmael / Cindy.
A new transfer student to St Daniel’s who immediately shakes things up by not letting Barry Bagsley bully him. He befriends Ishmael and persuades him to join the debate team.
  • Academic Athlete: He tries to be this, but his attempts at any kind of sport fail miserably.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: In the later books, when Ishmael and Razza are closer to each other than to the rest, he is this with Ignatius and Bill. He's the short one.
  • Blind Without 'Em: A problem when he tries to play sports. Hilarity Ensues when he drops his glasses during a volleyball match.
  • Extracurricular Enthusiast: He is College Captain, started the debate team and plays on the (fifth) volleyball team.
  • Gibberish of Love: Is reduced to this when he meets Prue for the first time, right after he was brilliantly debating, too.
  • Only Sane Man: The others get caught up in Razza's crazy schemes quite often, whereas Scobie nearly always stays calm and rational. He usually has to get the debating meetings back on track when the others get distracted.
  • New Transfer Student: He transfers to St Daniel’s in the first book.
  • Not So Above It All: He is usually the voice of reason, but he is also responsible for making the pun that named Thanks for the Mammary.
  • Pair the Smart Ones: With Ishmael's sister Prue.
  • The Short Guy with Glasses
  • Shorter Means Smarter: The shortest and the smartest of the main characters.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: The smartest of the Fab Five and the only one with glasses.
  • Teen Genius: He is very good at every subject, except sports.
Bill is very quiet and self-conscious due to his weight. He is a big fan of Fantasy and science-fiction and often zones out into his own world.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: In the later books he is this with Ignatius and Scobie. He's the big one.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Occasionally does this, for example when Razza asks him if he would rather make out with Aragorn or 'that smokin' elf chick '. Bill proceeds to correct Razza and explain that Arwen is actually half-elven. She and Aragorn met when ...

    Razza: Yeah, terrific. Anyway ...

  • Geek Physiques: He's the fat kind, but he starts to lose weight in the third book.
  • Geeky Analogy: He loves those. He even gets to use them in a debate in the first book.
  • Nice Guy: He's rather quiet, soft-spoken and polite.
  • The Quiet One: He doesn't speak very much, especially in the beginning of the series.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: His interest in Fantasy and science-fiction is very helpful during a debate in the first book.

    Razza: Then I will follow you, my brother ... my captain ... my ... Kingsley.

  • You Are Fat: Barry Bagsley uses this to bully him, resulting in Bill's low confidence.
Ignatius is made to join the debating team by his mother, who wants him to develop social skills. He is more interested in sciences than debating, which is why he is at first rather reluctant to participate.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: In the later books he is this with Scobie and Bill. He's the thin one.
  • Encyclopaedic Knowledge: While he is mostly interested in math and biology, he tends to rattle off random facts that aren't really related to the topic.
  • Kavorka Man: He has no social skills and isn’t described as very attractive, but he has no problem getting dates or girlfriends.
  • No Social Skills: The reason he joins the debating team in the first place is that his mother thinks he needs to develop more social skills.

Other major characters

Ishmael’s younger sister who is nearly a genius and strikes up a romance with Scobie.Ishmael’s English teacher in all three books and the favorite teacher of the Fab Five.The girl of Ishmael’s dreams. They meet during Ishmael's first debate when he faints and accidentally gropes her.
  • Broken Bird: When she returns in the third book, she's no longer as happy as she used to be. It's never completely explained what happened to her, but she had family problems as well as problems with a guy.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Also in the third book. Ishmael vows to bring the sparkle back.
  • First Girl Wins: She's the one Ishmael gets together with in the end.
  • What Beautiful Eyes !: Her ice-blue eyes are mentioned very frequently.
Kelly’s best friend and Razza’s love interest (and eventually girlfriend).
  • Academic Athlete: She's the best in her year and a passionate football player.
  • Brainy Brunette: She's the best in her year.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: According to Kelly, she's almost as bad at keeping secrets as Razz.
  • Opposites Attract: With Razz. They do have some common interests (like football), but she is down-to-earth, very studious and calm. Razza ... is not.
A teacher at St. Daniel's who helps the Fab Five, particularly by agreeing to be their official volleyball coach. Another teacher at St. Daniel's, but the complete opposite of Mr Guthrie. He's mainly known for being someone not to mess around with.
  • Hidden Depths: It is eventually discovered that he is a huge fan of Mrlesenur’s band, The Dugongs, and he shows a completely different side of himself when helping to organize a reunion for them.
  • Stern Teacher

    I just naturally assumed that everything you did for Mr Barker was under pain of death.

  • Tranquil Fury: When Razz interrupts Bill's presentation by standing on his table and singing (badly). Mr Barker walks in ... it's not pretty.

Other minor characters

The resident bully. He has been making Ishmael's life hell since they started attending St. Daniel's together.
  • The Bully: Torments Ishmael during the first book.
  • Freudian Excuse: Is implied to have one.
  • Jerkass: He not only bullies Ishmael, but also much younger kids.
Sally and Kelly’s friend. Razza’s hot cousin. For a while, Razza tries to get her and Ishmael together.
  • Big Breast Pride: Casually mentions that she can't wear some shirts because she’s too big, but she’s definitely not complaining.
  • Motor Mouth: Even Razz can't get a word in when she's talking.
  • Unfortunate Names: Most people who hear of her for the first time assume she's a stripper or a porn star.